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A Cold Coming

Chaz Brenchley
KG Productions
The Library Theatre, South Shields
(2007)

Accepting the death of a loved one can be both physically and mentally draining, even more so when it's long and painful.

That's what A Cold Coming deals with - a group of friends rallying around Quin, a man dying of AIDS, and the effect it has on their lives.

It's the debut play by North East writer Chaz Brenchley, who coincidentally accepts the best supporting actor nod for the role of the motionless, decaying figure lying centre stage.

Sean Kenney as Quin's returning boyfriend Michael gives a certain realism to the role, trying to accept his long-lost partner's condition and how time is quickly running out.

There's the right level of emotion, humour, bitchy bickering and story throughout the play which, at 75 minutes, has only one act, and it doesn't need anything else. The eight-strong cast all excel in their roles and Brenchley, drawing upon his own experiences of looking after a loved one losing their life to the condition, approaches the often taboo subject with passion and clarity.

It's a charming piece of intense theatre which becomes more intimate in the confines of the somewhat dilapidated surroundings of the Library Theatre.

A Cold Coming never intended to use a big budget, which is why it triumphs in storyline and performance alone.

Thanks to the Shields Gazette for permission to reproduce this review.

Reviewer: Chris Robinson